World

Woman burnt after her headphones explode on flight

SYDNEY: A woman suffered burns to her face and hands after her headphones caught fire on a flight to Australia, sparking warnings about battery-operated devices on planes.

The passenger was listening to music on her own battery-operated headphones as she dozed on the flight from Beijing to Melbourne on Feb 19 when there was a loud explosion.

"As I went to turn around, I felt burning on my face," she told the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) which investigated the incident.

"I just grabbed my face... I continued to feel burning so I grabbed them off and threw them on the floor. They were sparking and had small amounts of fire."

The ATSB assessed that the lithium-ion batteries likely caught fire.

"As the range of products using batteries grows, the potential for in-flight issues increases," it said, reminding travellers using battery-powered devices to keep them in an approved stowage unless in use.

Spare batteries should be kept in carry-on luggage, it added.

There have been incidents involving lithium batteries with a flight due to leave Sydney last year disembarked when smoke came out of a passenger's hand luggage. - AFP

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